UC Berkeley Banning Ann Coulter Is the Liberal Version of Book Burning, Says Bill Maher

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Bill Maher.
Bill Maher.Credit: Janet Van Ham/AP

On the latest episode of his HBO show "Real Time," host Bill Maher chastised liberals in America for recent bans of right-wing and conservative speakers at the nation's universities. Maher was specifically referencing the latest dust-up between Ann Coulter and California's Berkeley, in which Berkeley cancelled Coulter's upcoming event, then reinstated it after Coulter publicly vowed to speak regardless of Berkeley officials' consent. Coulter is now scheduled to speak Thursday at UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza.

Maher questioned his panel: "Let me ask about an issue that is always near and dear to my heart -- the First Amendment -- because Ann Coulter ran into a little problem this week. I know, we don't like Ann Coulter."

Maher went on to discuss his own issues with speaking at Berkeley in 2014, "I was the speaker at Berkeley a couple of years ago and they disinvited me and then they got their act together and I wound up doing it, and apparently, that's what's going to happen to her. I think. But, Berkeley, used to be the cradle of free speech but now it's the cradle for fucking babies."

"This goes on all over the country on campuses. They invite someone to speak who is not exactly what liberals want to hear and they want to shut her down. I feel like this is the liberals' version of book burning, and it's got to stop," Maher continued.

"Howard Dean tweeted today about this, 'Hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment.' Yes, it is. Threats are not protected by the First Amendment. This is why the Supreme Court said that the Nazis could march in Skokie. They are a hateful bunch. But that is what the First Amendment means. It doesn't mean just shut up and agree with me."

Watch Overtime: April 21, 2017 Credit: HBO